The obsession started when I spied some yummy looking shell-shaped cakes at Victoire. Giving in to temptation, I bought a pack of 6 (for $6!) and tucked in. One bite was all it took to make this one of my favourite treats.
Yet, for some strange reason, I never contemplated making my own. Having had previous disasters with things being stuck on trays or tins, the ridges of the madeleine trays put them in the "too hard" category. That is, until now.
Inspired by the first episode of The Little Paris Kitchen that aired on SBS a couple of weeks ago, I decided it was time to buy a tray and make my own. The timing was perfect with mid-year sales on right now, and picked up a tray for around $10.
The tray has certainly been put to good use. Four batches of madeleines in one week - a baking record. The first and second batches I took to work, and were snapped up within minutes. The third and fourth were more attempts to refine a recipe I've adapted based on the Guillame Brahimi version from French Food Safari on the SBS website. Ultra easy, using ingredients that most kitchens will have, I highly encourage you to give it a go.
Makes 12 large or 24 mini madeleines
40g melted butter
75g castor sugar (up to 100g if you prefer it sweeter)
A pinch of good quality sea salt
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
Zest of half a lemon
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla paste or vanilla extract
Extra butter and flour to prepare the tray.
1. Melt the butter in the microwave (30 seconds is enough). Allow to cool to room temperature.
2. In a bowl, sift in the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and lemon zest, and combine.
3. Whisk together the milk and egg, and add to the dry mix. Whisk this until just combined.
4. Add the lemon juice and vanilla paste to the batter mix and combine.
5. Gently fold in the butter until combined.
6. Cover and rest in the fridge for at least 1 hour. The mix can be stored in the fridge for up to 2 days.
7. Preheat the oven to 170 degrees Celcius.
8. Grease the madeleine tray with butter and lightly flour (this is especially important if using a traditional madeleine tray; I recommend greasing the tray even if a non-stick tray is used).
9. Spoon or pipe in the batter evenly - it should be just enough for 12 large or 24 mini madeleines. Bake at 170C for 10 minutes, or until lightly golden and tops spring back to touch.
These little darlings can be enjoyed warm or cold, with a cup of good quality tea.